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Audi get serious with 100% control of Sauber for 2026 F1 foray

audi f1 2026-001 Audi get serious with 100% control of Sauber for 2026 F1 foray

Audi is set to take 100% control of the Sauber Formula 1 team ahead of its foray into the top flight of motorsport in 2026, the Volkswagen-owned brand confirmed the news during the Saudi Grand Prix weekend.

This means that Oliver Hoffmann will step down from Audi’s management board to take overall responsibility for the Formula 1 programme while Andreas Seidl will run the Swiss-based team. And its very clear the German automaker wants to do things its way.

Hoffmann, who, along with former Audi boss Markus Duesmann, was the driving force for the expensive undertaking. His replacement, Gernot Döllner will take over his previous position as head of development.

The complete takeover of Sauber by Sauber does away with any doubts about its entry into F1 starting in 2026, in the wake of rumours they were baulking. Audi have gone beyond their original ambitions to acquire a 75% stake in the Swiss F1 racing team, but now they own it all.

The current Sauber managing director Seidl will also take on this position with the Audi team in the future.  The former McLaren team boss added that the takeover of Sauber will further accelerate the implementation of these plans.

Seidl and Sainz reunited at Audi for 2026?

seidl sainz f1

Managing director Andreas Seidl will officially take over the role of team boss in the future. So far he has been represented by team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi.

Seidl said: “I would like to thank Gernot Döllner and Oliver Hoffmann for the trust they have placed in us. We have a clear roadmap as to how we want to be competitive in both Hinwil and Neuburg as quickly as possible.

“We have ambitious goals. Their implementation is in full swing and will be supported by the Complete takeover of Sauber by Audi AG accelerated again,” added Seidl.

Reports in Germany confirm that Audi is already building a new Power Unit for its F1 project in Neuburg an der Donau with the chassis built at the Hinwill headquarters in Switzerland. Until they enter as Audi F1 Team, they will race as Kick Sauber.

The team has yet to confirm its drivers and is likely to wait for how a very explosive 2025 Silly Season pans out. Kick-started by Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari for 2025, meaning Carlos Sainz is out of a drive and probably top of the list.

A return to working with Seidl, the pair were at McLaren together, is probably a done deal. But Audi can wait to see how the land lies closer to their foray in a couple of years time.

Big Question: Can Audi become F1 winning team?